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The Senate is currently busying itself with its budget vote-a-rama, where they cast votes for a series of non-binding amendments to the budget in relative rapid-fire and with very little deliberation.  So far, we have seen four votes that teach us quite a lot about where our Senators stand on climate change.

KEYSTONE XL

Sen. Hoeven (R-ND)'s amendment approving the climate-busting Keystone XL pipeline passed 62-37 with 17 Democrats voting for it:  

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

Barbara Boxer proposed an amendment to counter Sen. Hoeven's; Boxer's amendment would have required further study on the pipeline to protect U.S. national interests.  Her amendment failed 33-66.

The following 13 Democrats voted both for Hoeven's amendment and against Boxer's:

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Mark Begich (D-AK), Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR).

Four Democrats strangely voted for both amendments: Sen. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Mark Warner.

Six members of the Democratic caucus voted both against Hoeven's amendment and against Boxer's:

Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Sen. Mo Cowan (D-MA), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Angus King (I-ME), Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Mark Udall (D-CO), and Sen. Tom Udall (D-CO).

What that means is that only 29 members of the Democratic caucus (28 Dems + Bernie) voted solidly against Keystone.

What is especially disappointing is to see three Senators who had been endorsed by the LCV vote for the pipeline: Casey (my own Senator), Nelson, and Tester.

Just over a year ago, the Senate voted on the pipeline, and it failed to pass 56-42 because it, thankfully, did not muster the 60 votes for cloture.   Five Democrats who opposed Keystone then now apparently support it: Sen. Bennet (D-CO), Sen. Carper (D-DE), Sen. Coons (D-DE), Sen. Johnson (D-SD), and Sen. Nelson (D-FL).

CARBON TAX

As was the case for Keystone, we saw two votes related to a carbon tax: one for and one against.  Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) proposed an amendment establishing a carbon tax; it failed 41-58 with thirteen Democrats voting against it:

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV), Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Mark Warner.

Sen. Roy Blunt, on the other hand, proposed an amendment that would have required a 3/5 majority for the passage of a federal carbon tax.  This would have passed 53-46, had there not been a 60 vote threshold required.  Eight Democrats voted along with Blunt:

Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR), and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV).

CLIMATE HALL OF SHAME

Seven Democrats voted consistently for the anti-environment position: Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO),  and Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR).

Four more Democrats belong in our CLIMATE HALL OF SHAME for voting both against the carbon tax and for Keystone: Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC), Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD), Sen. John Tester (D-MT), and Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

CLIMATE HEROES

Only twenty-eight Senators voted along with Boxer and Whitehouse and against Hoeven and Blunt:

Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), Sen. Diane Feinstein (D-CA), Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA), Sen. Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Sen. Pat Leahy (D-VT), Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI), Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA), Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Brian Schatz (D-HI), Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR).

 (I'm sure that Frank Lautenberg would have been on the climate hero list, too, had he been in attendance; unfortunately, he could not be at the vote because of illness).

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Comment Preferences

  •  Sen. Max Baucus is a tool of Big Oil & Big Coal (5+ / 0-)

    "Senators are a never-ending source of amusement, amazement, and discouragement" ~ Will Rogers

    by Lefty Coaster on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 05:56:28 PM PDT

  •  The delusional, the craven, and the pathological (4+ / 0-)

    In this vote we see an alliance of the delusional (a few Democratic Senators who think we can have everything--tar sands oil and a real climate policy) the craven (Democrats who cater to the fossil fuel industry), and the pathological (most of the Republicans) who want to step on the gas pedal and increase the carbon concentration as fast as we can.

    But there's more to it than that:
    A news media that overlooks the climate crisis every day of the week
    A pundit class that could care less
    And progressives who in many cases just won't make climate a top issue that demands immediate action now

    •  We're the Delusionals. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      corvo

      We believe we have a system of government capable of addressing such a threat.

      In fact, all the western democracies evolved over the past thousand years when surpluses of free resources, waste capacity and space were flowing into the society of developed nations. Accordingly all of their concepts of rights and responsibilities are based on a world of perpetual surplus.

      The extremophile among these nations is the United States which had some 10x the domestic natural resources per capita of any of the others when its Constitution was written.

      The injuries from climate change comes hundreds to thousands of times too slowly to overcome the incentives to our system to improve the welfare of our most lucrative interest groups.

      Humans and their traditional cultures are eminently capable of dealing with severe shortages, which is what we face with atmospheric carbon. But they use governing systems that almost everyone here would consider oppressive at best.

      Right off the top, if we were to remain a democracy but somehow become responsible on climate change, it would require a complete replacement of our mainstream information public square. First off the 1st amendment speech and press rights would have to go because as everyone can see, we have the opposite of the kind of information public square we need under the 1st amendment.

      That's just one hint of how upside down our system is with respect to this threat.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 07:07:26 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Useful diary, thanks -- (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    praenomen

    allows us to distinguish between the good, the indifferent, and the outright evil in "our Party."

    Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

    by corvo on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 06:28:47 PM PDT

  •  Eleven Democrats on the list (4+ / 0-)

    Thanks for this list - no donations for the Climate Hall of Shame, and lets hope some of these get primary heartburn.

    Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT),
    Sen. Joe Donnelly (D-IN),
    Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND),
    Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-LA),
    Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV),
    Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO),  
    Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR).
    Sen. Kay Hagan (D-NC),
    Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD),
    Sen. John Tester (D-MT), and
    Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA).

    "Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist."

    by oregonj on Fri Mar 22, 2013 at 06:38:08 PM PDT

  •  Let's not forget (0+ / 0-)

    Rep. Steve Lynch (allegedly D-MA), who would very much like to join Elizabeth Warren in our Senate delegation.

    Lynch supports the pipeline apparently because it would bring a few thousand temporary jobs to Red states whose reps wouldn't even vote in favor of relief if climate change were to batter our coastline even more. Last week Lynch called Keystone opponents a "left-wing environmental faction" and his top campaign advisor publicly referred to them as "radical environmentalists."

    The Senate Democratic Caucus is behind the curve enough on this. We can't afford to have a proud Democratic state like Massachusetts represented by this kind of person. Please support Ed Markey - who has long been a leader on climate change - for U.S. Senate.

    Republicans...think the American standard of living is a fine thing--so long as it doesn't spread to all the people. And they admire the Government of the United States so much that they would like to buy it. Harry S. Truman

    by fenway49 on Mon Mar 25, 2013 at 10:13:28 AM PDT

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